Ushering Digital Transformation Through IT: An Interview With Sylvain Pingont
Updated: Apr 23, 2022
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Please share what is your current role at Karl Storz and a short summary of how your career led you to this role.
Sylvain: Hi and good day everyone, thanks for giving me the opportunity to be part of this blog series!
At Karl Storz, I am currently the Digital Marketing & Customer Excellence Manager for the SEATW region since July 2021. I also supervise the regional IT focusing on employees’ support and digital transformation. It is a hybrid role and I love the arrangement. I am a strong believer that IT should be seen as a business partner for our different specialties to transform the way we work.
As the digital marketing and customer excellence manager, the team’s focus is on our customers. Digital marketing is seen as a sales enabler to generate more revenue with the help of marketing campaigns (marketing automation, lead generation, etc.). In addition, the use of Salesforce as a sales and marketing data platform is a key advantage to understand who our customers are, what they want, and how to address their challenges.
The digital role also encompasses the group transformation and our ambition to change the way the company works from a business perspective. Digital plays a significant role in which we liaise with our partners and customers (business model) and also simplify the life of our employees (process automation, low code apps development, etc.).
The two roles are very much interconnected!
I was in a company for 15 years & reached a point where there were no opportunities for me to grow further and was presented with an opportunity when a head-hunter approached me with a proposal from a MedTech company.
It was definitely challenging to be in a managerial role for the first time but at the same time, stepping out of my comfort zone to build things from scratch is something I love to do. The journey becomes more meaningful when you have supportive colleagues, all pursuing the same goal.
Which digital channel do you spend most time &/or budget on and why?
Sylvain: Webinars - The pandemic has pushed us to transit from physical events to digital events.
There are a number of affordable solutions in marketing today which allow many organizations to pivot into the digital world.
The webinar is not a permanent replacement for an on-site event but a complementary factor for driving awareness and lead generation. It has a low cost of acquisition and if you want more details, get in touch with me!
What difficulties did you face in your role and how did you overcome them?
Sylvain: The two biggest difficulties that I faced are people management and being less hands-on.
People management is new to me and I rely a lot on friends, ex-colleagues, and my LinkedIn connections who have been in managerial positions to share their experiences with me. I have received a number of helpful tips when I shared in my LinkedIn circle and I am also reading up extensively about leadership and psychology (HBR-Harvard Business Review is one of my favorites). I have plans to take a leadership course later this year to further deep-dive into this role.
I am slowly learning to “let go” and finding ways to aid the team. My role has reversed now from receiving feedback in the previous role to giving constructive feedback to help the team now.
My goal is to ensure every team member has the opportunity to grow and to make work meaningful. I know my goal is achieved when I received a “thank you” from the team.
Do you have any MarTech software recommendations for your role?
Sylvain: We are using Salesforce for CRM and it is natural to say Pardot (now called Marketing Cloud Account Engagement) is our favorite MarTech platform as we can build, execute, and track our entire marketing campaign through one platform.
We are still at the earliest stage of adoption, however, it has proved immensely helpful in the management of our omnichannel strategy and has assisted us in understanding the different attribution channels which are most successful in converting leads into opportunities.
The ultimate goal for many marketing journeys is revenue generation. Being able to target the content on the right lead qualification (scoring x grading), we can then use the right channel at the right time to maximize the conversion rate.
In short, our goal is to move from a cost to a profit center.
What do you think are the top 3 factors that are critical for the success of Digital Transformation?
Sylvain: People, WHY, and Management Support
People: You cannot transform without people who have the same goal in mind. They need to know what’s in it for them and how they will react if you were in the same shoes as them. Ask yourself a list of questions before you launch any initiative.
WHY: As shared by Simon Sinek, everything starts with a WHY. It is critical to explain why we are embarking on the transformation and simplify terms to make everyone involved understand. Take “Agile” or “Digital” for example. What do these two words mean to you? They are often used but misunderstood.
Management Support: Digital transformation must be driven by the management team. Start small, understand how to navigate with a timeline, and eventually pivot as we learn. It is essential to have management support throughout the transformation journey.
What do you do outside of work for recreation or/to relax?
Sylvain: Sports and travel.
I love football and I look forward to restarting the amateur league with Olympique Gaulois’ team with the easing of the restrictions. I also started golfing during the pandemic.
Traveling helps me to recharge and relax before getting back to work. In May, I am heading back to my home in France to visit my family.
Merci Sylvain for taking time out of your busy schedule to share these amazing insights with our marketing community. We know every Digital Transformation journey has many hurdles to overcome but the fruit of labor is limitless.
Keep a lookout for our next blog as we continue to share what marketers do. We aim to cover marketers from different countries to get global coverage on what marketers do. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any marketing inputs to share with our audience or if you know someone who’d enjoy doing that.
We’ll soon be back with insights from another marketer. Till then, stay tuned!